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Popular exhibition extended in Grasmere

Julian Cooper at the exhibition with visiting actors Kika and Petra Markham

A popular exhibition in the Lake District is to be extended to allow more tourists – and local people – to see the show.

Inherited Landscapes at the Heaton Cooper Studio’s archive gallery in Grasmere features the work of three generations of the same family of mountain painters.

Four paintings each are on display by Alfred Heaton Cooper (1863-1929), his son William Heaton Cooper (1863-1929) and his grandson Julian Cooper (born 1947). Julian Cooper was filmed making the selections for a recent Channel 4 TV documentary.

“The exhibition has been a huge success, with some lovely compliments from our visitors over the summer,” said studio director Rebecca Heaton Cooper, also an artist, who is William’s grand-daughter.

“Extending it to run until the end of October will allow a chance for local people, who have been busy themselves with tourists over the summer, to come and have a look.

“But it means the exhibition will also run until the end of the school half term holidays.”

Julian Cooper said: “This family has been around for three generations dealing with the same landscape. But our way of looking at it has changed over time, and with different temperaments and differing attitudes to painting which influence how we see the natural world.  I’ve chosen paintings which show the more wild and rocky aspects of the Lake District, and one can see that there are both continuities and differences between us.”

Alfred Heaton Cooper, who was recognised as one of the finest Victorian painters of his generation, established the studio back in 1905. His artist son William built the present gallery in Grasmere in 1938. For generations their paintings and books have influenced the way the landscape of the Lake District has been viewed, and the studio is recognised as one of Cumbria’s most distinguished galleries and the pre-eminent centre for landscape art in the Lake District.

Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to view works by other members of the Heaton Cooper family, including William’s wife Ophelia Gordon Bell, the sculptor famed for her head of Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary. The building also houses a Scandinavian style café, Mathilde’s, designed by Rebecca Heaton Cooper.

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